Charlie Johnson

Vikings Release Charlie Johnson

Veteran guard Charlie Johnson has started 61 of 64 potential regular season games for the Vikings over the past four years, but it appears he won’t be back for the 2015 season. The Vikings announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve terminated Johnson’s contract, which had been set to expire a year from now.

Johnson had no dead bonus money left on his deal, so by avoiding paying his $2.45MM base salary and $50K workout bonus for the 2015 season, the Vikings will wipe his entire $2.5MM cap number from their books. Johnson, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to go out and try to find work immediately, without having to pass through waivers or wait until next month’s free agent period.

Of course, it remains to be seen what sort of market there will be for Johnson. Despite his extensive experience (115 career starts), the 31-year-old received a negative grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required) in each of his four years in Minnesota, including a -12.1 mark in 2014.

Extra Points: NFLPA, Moreno, Contract Details

Newly-minted NFLPA president Eric Winston is just hours into his new role, but he sounds like he’s ready to hit the ground running.

“This union has always been about fighting,” Winston told Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “It won’t change.”

Winston didn’t mince words when it came to the idea of expanding the NFL season from 16 to 18 games, telling Pelissero that the idea is “dead in the water.” He was less definitive when it came to the idea of playoff expansion, but he made it clear that the union will only be on board under certain conditions. Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Knowshon Moreno arguably had the most impressive 2013 campaign of any of this year’s free agent running backs, but his name hasn’t surfaced at all in the last nine days. That changed today, with word breaking that the Dolphins will have Moreno in a for a visit on Friday (Twitter link via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald).
  • The Panthers continue to pursue free agent receivers, and will have Lestar Jean in for a visit tonight and tomorrow, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).
  • The Buccaneers hosted free agent defensive back Chris Owens today, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. Owens also met with the Steelers this week, as we heard earlier this afternoon.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap has the full breakdown of many of the new contracts signed in recent days, including, but not limited to, Andrew Hawkinsfour-year pact with the Browns, Scott Chandler‘s two-year deal with the Bills, James Starkstwo-year deal with the Packers, Charlie Johnson‘s two-year contract with the Vikings, and Usama Young‘s two-year deal with the Raiders.
  • Jerricho Cotchery‘s deal with the Panthers is technically for five years, as Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun details (via Twitter). I imagine it includes three void years, similar to Roman Harper‘s new contract. Cotchery also received a $2.25MM signing bonus.
  • Wilson (Twitter links) also provides details on a pair of minimum salary benefit contracts, noting that fullback Jed Collins will get $710K from the Lions between his $65K signing bonus and $645K base salary. Safety Craig Steltz will get $795K from the Bears between his $730K salary and the $65K roster bonus for 2014.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Vikings Re-Sign Charlie Johnson

WEDNESDAY, 12:34pm: The Vikings have confirmed Johnson’s new deal, and have also confirmed the signing of Fred Evans (Twitter links).

SATURDAY, 5:36pm: Johnson confirmed in a text message to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he and the Vikings have reached an agreement (via Twitter).

3:34pm: Guard Charlie Johnson is expected to re-sign with the Vikings, reports Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter). In a separate tweet, Wolfson writes that the deal is a two-year contract worth $2.5MM per year.

Johnson has started 47 games for the Vikings over the last three seasons. He will rejoin an offensive line that will be together as a unit for the third straight year.

FA Rumors: Vikings, 49ers, DRC, Cowboys

Vikings GM Rick Spielman spoke to reporters on a conference call today, and indicated that his team is “not by any means finished” in free agency, and will continue to be aggressive in exploring potential upgrades (Twitter links via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). According to Spielman, the Vikings still have interest in free agents Charlie Johnson and Kevin Williams, and have spoken to Williams’ agent recently (Twitter links via Tomasson).

Here are plenty more afternoon free agent rumors from around the NFL:

  • After meeting with the Chiefs today, Emmanuel Sanders‘ next visit will be with the 49ers, according to’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The free agent wide receiver, who has also visited the Jaguars and Buccaneers this week, will be staying in Kansas City overnight, so the Chiefs still have a chance to lock him up before he reaches San Francisco, tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
  • Ian Rapoport of gets the sense that Julian Edelman‘s visit with the 49ers is more a feeling out process for both sides than an indication anything is imminent (Twitter link).
  • Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is heading to New York tonight to meet with the Jets, reports Schefter (via Twitter).
  • The Seahawks have expressed interest in bringing back wide receiver Sidney Rice, who was released by the club earlier in the offseason, writes Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times.
  • In addition to having some interest in Julius Peppers, as we heard earlier, the Cowboys are keeping an eye on Jared Allen and would be interested if his price falls, writes Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • Free agent tight ends Jermichael Finley and Ed Dickson don’t appear to be in the Giants‘ plans for now, says Jordan Raanan of (via Twitter).
  • Free agent guard Daryn Colledge met with the Rams today, and is now off to meet with the Raiders, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • The Bengals have confirmed that two offensive linemen, Vlad Ducasse and Uche Nwaneri, both visited the team today, tweets Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer.